The Neverending Quarantine

2020 has been an interesting year so far. I never in a million years thought I would be “sheltering in place” due to an out of control virus. It still feels so surreal.

I’m ok with quarantine… I have found all kinds of things to keep me busy, like painting rooms in our house, working in the garden and baking all kinds of sinful treats. It’s also been really nice having my hubby work from home. I do miss having a cup of coffee at Sweet Eugene’s, or a glass of wine at Downtown Uncorked. Small little things like that… that we’ve definitely taken for granted.

What bothers me, though, is the fact that my nephew is graduating High School this year and I feel like he’s losing out on so much. Senior Prom, senior prank, senior skip day… and maybe even graduation. He was on track to be Valedictorian, so if that ends up being the case, I am going to be SO heartbroken if there is no ceremony… no speech… He’s like a son to me, and I’m so proud of his accomplishments. I just want to see him recognized. We haven’t even been able to take his actual Senior photos. So, we figured we’d at least do some while in quarantine to commemorate this pivotal time in his life:

He’s such a good sport! We also decided that since we all have so much time on our hands, we would make a parody video. I mean, why not? We all love Stranger Things, so The Neverending Story seemed perfect!

I am so thankful for times like these. My niece and nephew are amazing people and are so fun to be around. They kept me laughing the whole time… it was just so much fun and something so memorable for me. He’s leaving for college (well, maybe right?!) in August, so I will cherish all of these moments… Thank you Quarantine!

We’re all going to get through this… just look for a silver lining. I know I have noticed several… it’s all about perspective!

Sweet Potato Curry (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I’ve been trying to share different things I make with Facebook lately, just to give people ideas about things they could try. Curry is something a lot of people have never tried before. I know I had never tried it before I met my husband. I’ve found that pre-made curry sauces can be WAY too hot for me, then my hubby ends up having to eat it all, lol. If you stick with a good curry powder and paste, you can control how hot -or not- it turns out.

Sweet Potato Curry

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Cup Quinoa or Brown Rice – cooked (you’ll end up with about 2 Cups)
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Sweet Potato – cubed
  • 16oz Normandy Blend (you’ll find it in the frozen section – this is a mixture of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – chopped
  • 2 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 2 T Curry Powder
  • 1 T Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 1 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 Lime – juiced
  • 1 Cup packed Spinach
  • 1 Cup packed Kale
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika

Here’s what you do:

  • Saute onion and garlic together until the onion is tender.
  • Add the curry powder and ginger and cook for about 1 minute…it’ll be fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, red curry paste, veggies (except for the spinach and kale), smoked paprika and salt. If the coconut milk doesn’t cover the top of the veggies, add a little water until the veggies are covered.
  • Simmer until tender – about 20-30 minutes.
  • While that is simmering, cook your quinoa. If you’re using brown rice, start it before you start the curry.
  • When veggies are tender, add in the spinach, kale, maple syrup and lime juice – cook until the spinach/kale has wilted.
  • Serve on top of quinoa or brown rice.
  • Enjoy!

Black-Eyed Pea Pasta Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season! I won’t lie… we ate way more sugar than we normally eat, and our meals weren’t as colorful as they usually are. That’s what January is all about though, right? Getting back on track…

So, for our lunches this week, I made up some black eyed pea pasta salad and made sure there was a lot of color. This salad is very forgiving because you can really season it anyway you like, add or remove anything you like/don’t like. Plus, it stays good all week and tastes even better each day!

Black-Eyed Pea Pasta Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 2lbs Frozen Black-Eyed Peas – cooked (don’t let them cook too long or they’ll be mushy!)
  • 8oz Brown Rice Pasta – cooked (Tinkyada is my favorite!) – alternatively, you could use Brown Rice, Quinoa, Chickpeas…whatever you like!
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley – chopped
  • 5 Green Onions – chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – chopped
  • 3 Stalks Celery – chopped
  • 2-3 T Jalapeno – chopped (adjust to how hot/mild you like it)
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes – chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Black and/or Green Olives – chopped
  • 2 – 3 Limes – juiced
  • Spices: this is really up to you! I use Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Tuscan Seasoning I get from the bulk section of HEB
  • Oil – I don’t think it needs it, but you can add 1/8 Cup of Olive or Avocado oil if you’d like.

Here’s what you do:

  • Cook the black-eyed peas and set aside to cool.
  • Cook pasta and set aside to cool.
  • Chop up the rest of your ingredients while the above are cooking.
  • Add everything to a large bowl and mix well.
  • Enjoy hot or cold!

Beyond Hamburger Helper (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I was SO excited to see Beyond Meat’s ground Beyond Beef at our local HEB. We had to drive a couple of hours to a Whole Foods to try it for the first time. It was delish, so, we were afraid that would be the case every time we wanted some. Thanks HEB!

I thought I would share the first thing I made with it. For some strange reason, I really wanted cheesy Hamburger Helper, so when you are vegan and you don’t eat gluten, you just have to try and make it happen. It turned out so good, I could literally eat it for every meal. Yum!

Beyond Hamburger Helper

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 Package ground Beyond Meat Beyond Beef
  • 1 16oz Package Gluten Free Pasta (I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals)
  • 1 ½ cups Almond Milk
  • ½ cup plain Almond Milk Yogurt (I used Kite Hill… any kind of plain non-dairy yogurt would work.)
  • 3 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 T White Rice Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • Dash of Chipotle Powder
  • A few cranks of Pepper
  • **optional – 1 cup shredded Daiya Cheddar Cheese (or any other Vegan Cheddar)

Here’s what you do:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together everything starting at the Almond milk, down to the pepper and set aside.
  • Add water to a pot large enough for the pasta, and get it going to bring it to a boil.
  • In a large Dutch Oven or sauté pan, sauté onion and garlic together (in about a Tablespoon of olive oil, water or veggie broth) until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in Beyond Meat to the onions and garlic, breaking it into pieces.
  • Cook about 6-8 minutes. **Your water for the pasta should be about boiling at this point. Add the pasta to the water and boil about 2 minutes less than the instructions say.
  • Add the liquid mixture & the Vegan cheese (if using) to the meat & onion mixture. Turn it down to low, cover and simmer while the pasta is cooking… stirring frequently.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain, but don’t rinse.
  • Add it to the meat mixture and cook about 1 minute, making sure to mix it altogether really well.
  • Serve it with a nice salad, a slice of fresh bread (I’ll share my recipe for perfect gluten free bread soon!) and enjoy!

Goal Digger Bootcamp

Our first 2019 Bootcamp session is coming to an end on June 26th! Time flies, right? Not to worry, as we’ll get back to it on July 8th. This session will only be Monday and Wednesday evenings, as I know everyone stays quite busy during the summer.

The second session of 2019 is going to focus on Cardio and body weight exercises. We will be doing quite a bit of running. I know, I know… you hate running. But, if you want to lose weight, and condition your heart and lungs to be healthy as you get older, then running really is a great choice. Yes, it will be hot. Yes, we will sweat… a LOT. But, please don’t let that be your excuse to not work out. We’ll keep it safe and take plenty of water breaks.

Registration closes on July 1st, and there are only 10 spots available, so get yours in now! Visit the BootCamp Schedule/Registration Page for dates, registration agreement and payment information.

We’re a fun, motivational and supportive group and we would love to have you join us. Fitness levels are always varied, so whether you’re a beginner, or you’ve been exercising for awhile, you’ll fit right in! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions!

Yours in Health,